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Major review on future of health and care begins

Healthier together

A major review across Greater Manchester on the future of health and care services is launched today, Tuesday 8 July 2014. Plans for better access to GPs, better services in the community and hospitals sharing their expert clinicians across boundaries are central to a vision to transform health and social care across Greater Manchester, with the aim to deliver the best heath and care in the country for the people of Greater Manchester.

New proposals were formally launched at the Museum of Science and Industry by the leaders of the 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups in Greater Manchester, along with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and NHS England.

NHS England gave the green light to go ahead to formally seek the views of the people of Greater Manchester following a rigorous assessment of the proposals.

The plans have been developed over the course of the past 2 years, with patients, carers, as well as doctors, nurses and other health and social care professionals, telling us that the need to transform our health and social care services is clear.

A major publicity campaign will now get underway to encourage everyone in Greater Manchester to give their views on what best care means to them, and to comment on the proposals that have been drawn up. Information will be available through GPs, pharmacies, libraries etc., and also through "non-traditional" places such as pubs and bingo halls. Public events will take place in every borough, and people will also be encouraged to give their views via the internet or social media.

Responding to the demand for better access to GP services, the new plans pledge that people with a clinical need will have same-day access to primary care 7 days a week, with the necessary diagnostic tests available. Currently over 300,000 people have more weekend and evening access to GP and  primary care services, with an ambition to extend to one million people over the next 12 months. This forms part of a wide ranging strategy for Primary Care across Greater Manchester which sets out plans to further develop services provided by GPs, Dentists, Pharmacists and Optometrists.

More services should also be provided in the community and closer to home for many people, with care better coordinated across all the different agencies involved, including health and social services.

Stockport GP Dr Ranjit Gill, who heads up Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

"General Practice can do so much more to help people stay well, detect long-term conditions earlier, and treat acute ill health more quickly than at present. We can prevent so much avoidable emergency hospitalisation by having a proactive GP led system, that people find responsive, every day.

"The  boundaries  between  the  different  organisations  providing  this  care  and  support, including  the  NHS,  local  authorities  and  the  voluntary sector should  be  removed,  allowing seamless  and straightforward  care for local people."

Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council, said:
"Each Greater Manchester Local Authority is working with local health partners to provide more effective joined up health and social care. This means people who don't need to go into hospital can receive the treatment they need in their own homes, or closer to home and make sure those who leave hospital receive adequate support to get well. This support will meet individual patient needs and may come from GPs, from community nurses, from social care workers or from the voluntary sector. We are clear that this improvement in GP services and joined up care needs to be up and running before the changes to the hospital services are introduced."

Dr Chris Brookes, Accident & Emergency consultant and Medical Director of Healthier Together, said: "Our vision is to deliver the best health and care in the country for our population in Greater Manchester. We all want the best care for ourselves and our families.

"In some places, people already receive the best possible care available. In others, the care does not meet the standards we expect, never mind the best available.

"Variation in quality of hospital treatment is a major factor in mortality of patients. I believe we can save over 1,000 lives over a five year period if we share services across a wider area, with clinicians from neighbouring hospitals working as a single team.

"Expert knowledge and clinical lessons can be shared across the team, and that will have a huge impact on training and expertise, and ensure that clinicians are carrying out procedures that they do more regularly and are familiar with. At the moment our specialist resources are spread thinly across 10 hospital sites making it difficult for each hospital to ensure that consultants are present to deliver and direct care seven days per week and 24 hours per day.  This means there are worse outcomes for patients who become ill or sustain an injury at evenings and weekends."

The shared hospital service concept is in line with Healthier Together' s ambitions to provide more care in the community working with local authorities and greater access to GP services and primary care. Under the proposals for hospitals, services for the most severely ill patients will be carried out by the teams working together across hospitals, with the most specialist care being undertaken on fewer sites. All other care will continue at all hospitals. It is proposed that there will either be 4 or 5 specialist sites across Greater Manchester.

No District General Hospitals will close under the proposals, and no Accident & Emergency departments will close, though some services will change.

For further information, or to view and complete the consultation questionnaire, visit the Healthier Together website www.healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk

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For media enquiries contact Martin McEwan at martin.mcewan@nhs.net or call 0161 625 7491 /07741 294008 or Paul Horrocks, 07768 615876 / paul@essential-comms.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Healthier Together is part of the Greater Manchester Programme for Health and Social Care Reform, which aims to provide the best health and care for Greater Manchester.

There are three elements to Healthier Together - Integrated Care and Primary Care (which make up Community Based Care) and In Hospital Care.

Healthier Together has four core principles; The best healthcare for you, your family and your neighbour; Better access to GPs; Saving more lives by improving quality; Help us improve our ideas by telling us what you think.

Working in partnership with partners, voluntary organisations and the 10 local authorities across Greater Manchester, the programme is clinically led, and is managed by the Service Transformation team which is accountable to the 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

The consultation will propose Salford Royal, Central Manchester Hospitals and the Royal Oldham as Specialist Hospitals and then the options for an additional one or two Specialist Hospitals

  • If there is One Additional specialist site, it would be one of Wigan, Bolton, Stockport or UHSM
  • If there are Two Additional specialist sites,  it would be Wigan or Bolton PLUS Stockport or UHSM

This means that the local general hospitals ("fixed points") will be Fairfield Hospital in Bury, Tameside Hospital, and North Manchester Hospital. Rochdale Infirmary and Trafford General Hospital will remain as now.

These options have been developed through a rigorous appraisal process which has considered patient activity and flows of patients between hospitals, clinical standards, workforce issues (e.g. number of consultants required), travel and access standards, financial considerations etc.

These details are all covered in the "pre-consultation business case" (PCBC) which the Clinical Commissioning Groups considered at their meeting on 4 June 2014.

The Healthier Together programme is about reducing the current inequalities in Health outcomes across Greater Manchester. Its aim is to ensure there is reliable, high quality care provided to patients whenever and wherever they access health care.

This especially applies to emergency general surgery where if all trusts in Greater Manchester performed at the level of the trust nationally with the lowest number of deaths in General Surgery, 1445 in-hospital deaths across Greater Manchester could be reduced over 5 years.

This information has been verified by the Dr Foster Intelligence organisation, recognised as being the authority on healthcare data.